No Child Left Behind means a lot of things to a lot of different people. Who knew that one of NCLB's "failings" was that it didn't spend enough time or money on ensuring our struggling schools had enough music, dancing, and sculpture classes? Apparently, that was a top-of-mind concern for Democratic presidential candidates at last night's CNN/YouTube debate.
Gov. Richardson, and to a lesser degree Sen. Biden, demonstrated that too many people either don't understand NCLB or choose not to believe NCLB successes. And that's the real shame. As a community, we should be rallying around the effective teaching, research-based instruction, strong assessments, and student achievement mandated under NCLB. Instead, we are embarrassed by our past support of it and quick to denounce it in public forums.
If you've read my past ramblings, you can guess that Eduflack has a lot to say about last night's debate. Check it out at http://blog.eduflack.com/2007/07/24/nclb-the-great-debate.aspx
NCLB works, and there's the data to prove it and students, teachers, and classrooms to exemplify it. It's time for those success stories -- and not the negative crowing of the status quo -- to define what NCLB really stands for.